Happy Independence Day, everyone!
There's so much I want to explain about my change in employment and there's so little time to write, at least for today I'll start by answering a question asked in response to Thursday's announcement.
From what you've been able to sense so far, do you anticipate any differences in FamilySearch's corporate attitude towards employee blogs vs. the one you experienced at Ancestry?
Thanks for reading my blog and thanks for your comment. Best wishes on your new blog!
If you've not read my posts on the topic of employee bloggers, the series is called Don't Miss the Train. In short, employee bloggers should never violate non-disclosure agreements or any other contractual terms they have agreed to. And they should never speak evil of their employer or fellow employees. These are principals that are just as sound at FamilySearch as at Ancestry.
If I find any difference in attitude, I expect to find greater encouragement to blog at FamilySearch than at Ancestry. Just this month, blogging was encouraged by FamilySearch's sponsor, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Church). The cover story of the July 2008 issue of the Ensign, a Church published magazine, is Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet. This article is written by Elder M. Russell Ballard, one of the Church's Twelve Apostles.
Ballard states that,
We all have interesting stories that have influenced our identity. Sharing those stories is a nonthreatening way to talk to others [about the Church]. Telling those stories can help demystify the Church. You could help overcome misperceptions through your own sphere of influence, which ought to include the Internet.
My understanding is that FamilySearch takes very seriously any counsel given by the Church's leadership, so the timing of this article couldn't be better for employee bloggers at FamilySearch.
Since my target audience is users of Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org, I assume my audience comes to me for information about these websites, not about religion. I hope members of all churches and any religious belief are comfortable reading my blog. If not, please let me know (privately, preferably).
I assume my audience appreciates "insider" information that "demystifies" the actions of Ancestry and FamilySearch. I have experience as an executive at a former company and I've spent 5+ years inside The Generations Network. What appears absolutely lunatic from the outside (such as the Internet Biographical Collection), has some pretty logical and benign explanations from the inside.
Likewise, I am a long-time Church "insider" (member) and will be able to report on the FamilySearch organization from the inside out. I try to keep in mind that some FamilySearch actions are better understood if I share brief, necessary insider information about the Church.
There have been more questions, and more answers are coming. Stay tuned...
What Do You Think?
How am I doing? This very posting required some information about the Church to explain why employee blogging at FamilySearch might be encouraged more than at Ancestry.com. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think. Did I go too far? I was uncertain if I included enough information for someone unfamiliar with the Church to understand that Mr. Ballard's statement would have a large bearing on policy at FamilySearch. Was that apparent?